tv Quadriga - The International Talk Show LINKTV August 21, 2015 9:00am-9:31am PDT
opposition has been and even racist attacks. can europe find a worthy answer to the humanitarian crisis, or will it isolate itself further? coming to you from berlin, "quadriga: the international talk show." your hosted this week, peter craven. peter: a very warm welcome to this latest edition of "quadriga " coming to you from berlin. our topic today is the refugee we are and the question asking is, do we care enough? to discuss that question, i'm joined by three seasoned observers and commentators. i would like to introduce them to you. an expert onh central and eastern europe. currently an associate professor in the department of border region studies at the university of southern denmark. katerina says germany has to offer migrants a real
integration program that would help newcomers and allow german society to profit from what they have to offer. we're also joined today by christoph von marshall. he is the diplomatic correspondent for the berlin daily "der spiegel. in his opinion, there are desirable and undesirable asylum-seekers. people from the balkans, for example, don't have the right for asylum. they should therefore be sent home. a familiar face here on "quadriga" is eric kirschbaum. with the reuters news agency in berlin and has been for many years. he says beyond the ugly headlines, germans have been opening their hearts and homes to refugees. a positive note from eric. i would like to begin with christoph on marshall. earlier this week, one of germany's leading journalists
said the following or wrote the following -- "the refugee crisis isn't just a problem for the summer of 2015, it's a problem for the 21st century. he went on to say that in the future, "the 21st century will be judged according to how it treated the refugees." do you agree? christoph: not totally. i cannot say we will come to such a situation. recent events have indicated we will have more refugees. in the 1990's, we had the bosnian war, and we had half a million refugees in germany. it went down to 120,000. at the beginning of this year, we saw 250,000. in the middle of the year, we think it will be a hundred thousand or even one million. dynamics are changing. it can go down again if we take the right precautions and send the right signals. peter: we are certainly talking
about huge signals. there are more refugees on the run now than at at any other recorded time in human history. over half of them are children. our question today is, do we care enough? what is your answer to that? christoph: generally, we care enough, but we do the wrong things, i think. one of the questions from my point of view is, do we use all the private willingness to help and the private abilities to integrate people, or do we think like big government democrats, who think, it's the responsibility of the government? it's the wrong approach. katerina, same question -- a huge refugee crisis, staggering numbers of people on the move, people coming to europe and germany -- do people in germany, in europe care enough? katerina: i totally agree with you. , europe, not so
much, but germany and german society do a lot in order to help refugees. we compare german help with international help, and we have to say, it's enormous help on one hand. on the other hand, germany doesn't recognize the difference between refugees. system like in canada that would be excellent in order to choose the best, the best refugees and the best german society needs. it is egoistic, but on the other hand, it would be good for both sides, for german society and
for people who arrive here. on alloncentrate refugees, all people coming here and try to help everybody, in will not be result so excellent. it's not possible to help the whole society. if we from the beginning make a , ifsion and decided, ok people will help more or work , in the future, both sides would profit. to answer your question, i think germany does enough, but it's not enough still. peter: what do you make of that? it sounds like cherry picking the best people from societies that are struggling economically and bringing the best people to
germany come integrating them here, and leaving those societies bereft of their highly skilled men and women? it is a huge enrichment for germany that people are coming to germany. germany has a shrinking population. they desperately need more people. there are talented people coming to germany all the time. areasylum laws in germany generous and being abused by certain people. part of the reason is there is no real process for immigration to germany. this is are generous and being abused by certain a huge problem. it is going to be a problem for long time. politicians are gradually waking up to it, dragging their feet. i think they are afraid to send signals. with climate change looming, refugees are going to be coming from kinds of reasons for decades to come. this is something people have been predicting for a long time. maybe it's coming more quickly than people thought. it's a huge problem.
there are no real answers. nobody seems to come up with an answer. peter: it is interesting you talk about politicians dragging their heels. angela merkel was commenting on the magnitude of the crisis, and she said, it's going to be a bigger challenge for our societies than the greek debt crisis. nevertheless, you will have people inhe way many germany have been complaining, angela merkel hasn't so far visited one center for asylum-seekers to show her presence. how grave is that a mission? erik: there is criticism of her for that. she hasn't made any clear comments, we welcome the refugees. she had the chance with an eight-year-old refugee, and she kind of botched that one. she didn't really show compassion. a lot of germans got upset that she saw this girl crying, and she couldn't find a suitable answer. it went viral. during this refugee crisis, i think the best of germany has been there, and the worst of
germany. in the spring, when a lot of refugee centers were being burned, it was amazing. a lot of foreign journalists like myself were writing about this. it's sort of the ugly germany we felt we put behind us. in the summer, there's been this huge outpouring of ordinary germans going out of their way to help refugees, putting them in shelters, ringing them food and water. this actor helped organize toys, and it's an amazing story. as a foreign journalist, it is nice to see his good germans coming out of the woodwork and showing what germany can do. peter: wait a second. erik has given me the perfect intro to some of the pictures we are going to see. let's have a look. >> this is the ugly face of germany. ,hese people feel threatened and they hate anything foreign. they are a small minority.
they are noisy, ready to attack to defenseless people, armed with clubs or lighters. since the beginning of the year, there have been 200 attacks on refugee shelters, more than in all of 2015. this is the nice face of germany, people who want to help those in need. their tools -- friendliness and care packages. they are a sizable and vocal minority, but they don't feature much in the media. no european country has more asylum-seekers than germany, but it is the silent majority willing to integrate so many refugees? were hoping to comment, and i cut you off. katarzyna: no problem.
in my opinion, too much propaganda. peter: let me just clarify for the people at home. cal schweiger is the brad pitt of german movie acting. he's not internationally well-known, but in germany, he's a big deal. he has been commenting on the refugee crisis. erik: he has been a lightning rod for it. he is one of the few german celebrities who has come out of the woodwork, and he has been bashed in social media. germans are very good at that. millions have come to germany, and they've been welcomed. peter: why are germans so good at that? why aren't there other countries in europe saying, keep the migrants out? the germans -- there is one poll that suggests 25% of all germans have considered taking in a refugee or offering accommodation to a refugee. how do you explain that?
christoph: it's the perception of our history. we've been guilty of murdering hundreds of thousands, millions of people, and we've tried to learn our part, the lessons of history, and react in a different way. -- we have holidays. at the beginning of september, there won't be gymnastic sports, because there are refugees in schools. this will be a practical problem. the first time the committee tells you, we have to close down the swimming pool because we don't have the money because the money is going refugees, you will have a practical problem. therefore, i think we should change our thinking. we should be much more harsher to people who do not have a legal right to come here. in reality, they are looking for better economic situations,
which is not bad. everybody would do that. they can't take advantage of the system, and we should send them home quickly to send the signal to others, don't come here if that is your motivation. we should be much more comforting and better in dealing with people coming from more regions syria and afghanistan and iraq. for those people, we have to find a better solution in europe. we have to be much more practical. we don't have to think in administrative ways. " that's the responsibility of the government........" syrian refugees are much better off in britain if they have relatives there. it might be that people from africa, they should go to france, because they might have people from their region over there. we germans should taken those who have relatives or people from the same region or people from religious groups.
erik: germany takes in only half of the 800,000 refugees coming to germany this year. that is 400,000 people. surely next year, according to your theory, 400,000 more will come, because they've got relatives here, communities here. a fair point.s we need an organized system of immigration. is a question we should deal with in order to meet our own interests. people coming from more regions, it's a humanitarian question. we shouldn't ask, is it good for us or not? these are people fleeing from war, and they need a shelter. warrefugees from the regions, this is not a big number. this is a number that is on a similar level. that might be one quarter -- erik: german politicians have
been talking for decades about allowing immigration. it is one of the biggest countries on immigration in the world. they don't get their act together. the reason is this bottleneck of economic refugees coming to germany -- there is no mechanism for foreigners to legally come here and work here. that's the problem. peter: that is something we may in the future, but possibly not with angela merkel and conservatives. they've been opposed to germany becoming a country of immigration. -- christoph: no yes and no. we have a lot of legal growthtion through the larg of the european union. a lot came from great britain, because they opened the labor market early, but since germany is the biggest country in the eu , with the most powerful economy, a lot of those are coming here.
we are asking people from india, if they are i.t. specialists, to come. to our misfortune, they are not coming in masses. these two guys are -- are talking about controlled immigration in some form. as well, aed it, point system. yes, there are desirable and less desirable migrants. has got a massive demographic problem. it's an agent society. it has one of the lowest birth rates in the world. ,he mayor of one german city hascity of goss letter, he said with regard to refugees -- let them all come. we will take them all. is he getting it right? katarzyna: i don't think it would be the right solution. city, 4000 fewer people each year. katarzyna: yes, but we have to , taking chances on
refugees and immigrants. it depends, which region, and it depends very much on numbers. how many refugees? i've done research comparing the citieson in german small to danish small cities. german small cities, 400 inhabitants, 150 refugees. in most cases, the refugees weren't welcome. people opposed it. people voted against it. in danish small cities, 150 refugees -- and 20 all of them were welcomed. why? because of the small number. people were important.
with so many refugees arriving, they are only numbers, not people. it is difficult if we see so many. for this reason, i think it's important to control, to control the number of refugees from the regions they arrived from. wrong decisions taken can be problematic for both sides. know: the one thing we do from the discussion so far is the number of refugees coming to germany is rising rapidly and might reach a figure of 800,000 this year. -- thatt -- germany makes germany the country in the year that has taken in the most people. germany and sweden are bearing the bulk of the burden. united nations has warned that
that is unfair, and as we see now, there are a number of countries around europe that are doing everything they possibly can to keep people out. >> if you are looking to invest in fences, now would be a good time. --ope is wallowing at soft walling itself off. the iron curtain fell in 1889. now, hungary is rebuilding its border fence. britain has effectively sealed off the channel tunnel. you would be immigrants are stranded near the french port of calais, living in the makeshift camp known as the jungle. local authorities tolerate it, but aid organization say it is a humanitarian disaster. due fences really solve the problem? even in north africa, migrants have breached the six-meter-high barriers. europe seems to be counting more on isolation and deterrence than giving aid.
his fortress europe a betrayal of european values? that's the question. is europe betraying its values? are all european countries going to be building fences and walls internally and externally? katarzyna: that is really terrible. we know from old times that doesn't help to solve the problem. favorable reaction from hungry to build such a fence. you are transferring the problem to neighboring countries. peter: i was looking at the figure for slovakia. refugees have4 been taken in by refugees -- by slovakia, compared to other huge numbers. erik: they have to be christian or something. peter: they are being very selective.
if we have countries around ,urope saying, we do not care how are we going to get a common european policy on the refugee question? christoph: we need to come to a solution, but not in this mathematical matter. it is a difference if they are countries like lot via or estonia. they have a 30% or 40% population not -- peter: does ethnicity factor in? countries there are that can afford to take in more people, like germany, a growing economy. it's easier than a country with a sputtering economy like greece. we should be flexible. there has to be much more pressure for a european solution. my point from the beginning -- it shouldn't be a big government approach. we should try to find out, where did those people come from? do they have relatives in the eu? you should send them there. private people can do the
integration work more than the government. you can count these people who internationalnto quotas. those who have no relatives or no point where to go, you can send them to other places. use the private willingness to help and integrate people. it's not the government's responsibility. peter: you've been observing closely the good germans and the bad germans at work in both cases. gwen has a point been reached possibly -- the berlin mayor talked about it -- a tipping point, when could there be a point when good germans become bad germans? erik: that is a good question, tough question. things we talked about is the unfairness in the eu. germany and sweden are taking in large numbers. eastern europe and britain are taking a next to none.
that is a problem. it is a bit like the eurozone crisis. where is the leadership? it takes forever. germany could be a great leader. germany is doing a fantastic job. you would think that germany would try to be more effective in getting france on board or getting britain to take a bit more. the eu is a mess with their policy on the refugees. they can barely agree to let 40,000 in the next two years. it is a bit of a joke, seeing the way that you is dropping the ball, like they did the first four years in the eurozone crisis. one can hope that you will get its act together faster -- that the eu will get its act together faster before the move does turn. peter: i would like to remind all of us, you guys and myself, the official figure is 1867 people lost their lives trying to get across the mediterranean
in the first half of this year. the question at the top of the show was, do we care enough? if you are pedantic, you would be asking, who are the "we"? let's take it to be the germans. i would like to ask each of you -- do you and do you can do you and do i care enough? christoph: i think we do. peter: how is that manifested? christoph: we try to understand why people are coming. privately,ing doors and also in the public discussion. in that way, we are doing a lot and trying to understand why these people are coming, but we can't do it for everybody. there are reasons we should send some.hos katarzyna: germany doesn't of in comparison to other countries. you are right, it is not possible to solve the problem alone.
this is why european solidarity is needed in order to find a solution, in order to make all participating parties profit from the problem. peter: poor eric has two problems. are the germans doing enough, and is there such a thing as european solidarity? erik: unfortunately, very little. people in germany do care a lot. if this had been an earthquake, there would be a lot of solidarity. there isn't a lot of solidarity now. this is a crisis. peter: in germany, we send large amounts of money to a place hit by a natural catastrophe. ok. we've got to break it off. time is running off. i hope we've given you plenty of food for thought. if you've enjoyed the show as much as i have, come by next week. we are on facebook, twitter. cheers.
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